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17 running away from TN to MI

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  • 17 running away from TN to MI

    I am 17 and I turn 18 in June. I'm originally from MI and my mother and I moved to TN last August but I want to move back to MI and stay with a friend. I'll be perfectly safe and taken care of and it will be an opportunity to better myself. Can I move there without parental consent?

  • #2

    Thanks for reaching out to us. It sounds like you have thought a lot about moving back to Michigan, and that this is an important step for you.

    We are not legal experts, but, in our experience, youth under the age of 18 are under guardianship. So, no, they can’t leave without their guardian’s permission. If your mom has guardianship over you, moving back to MI without her permission would be running away.

    It is not illegal to runaway. It’s a status offense. If you did leave, your guardian would be obligated to file a runaway report. If that report is filed, the police’s job is to return you to your guardian.

    A couple of bits of info that might be useful:

    Different police departments handle different cases differently. They may not pursue a returning a youth to a guardian so aggressively in some cases, including if a youth is close to the age of 18. You could call the police non-emergency line anonymously, describe your case, and ask them how they might handle a case like yours.

    As you may already know, if a guardian gives permission, our understanding is that a youth can stay elsewhere. So consider if that’s something you and your mom could talk about.

    And sometimes youth leave and their guardians don’t file a runaway report. Or sometimes, even though a runaway report is filed, the police simply don’t find the youth. As a runaway, you would still have a right to go to school, under the McKinney-Vento act. You could consider if any of these scenarios is possible in your case.

    If you do leave under those circumstances, consider thinking about your support network. It sounds like you have a lot of trust for your friend. But it can also be good to have other sources of support as well, like numbers to call in case the situation changes, or just to vent to when you are stressed.

    We hope some of these ideas are helpful. Thanks for reaching out to us.
    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

    National Runaway Safeline
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)
    Tell us what you think about your experience!


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